This podcast is the first episode of a War Room special series featuring some of history’s greatest strategists. Featured is Carl von Clausewitz, famed for his book On War (Vom Kriege) which is a staple of professional military education in the U.S. and many partner nations. This is remarkable given that the original text of On War is an unfinished manuscript published posthumously by his wife Marie. Clausewitz scholar Vanya Eftimova Bellinger and War Room podcast editor Jacqueline Whitt explore the book’s major theses and implications they present for modern scholars and practitioners of strategy.
In this War Room podcast, “Time as a Dimension of Strategy,” Joe Brooks and Doug Douds take a critical look at concepts that may too often be taken for granted in strategy – time and space. Drawing from philosophy, political science, and culture, the podcasters discuss a range of perspective on how time and space have defined and measured throughout history. How do our understandings of time shape our strategy? And how do we develop strategies that shape an environment occupied by those whose perspectives on time differ?
In this War Room Podcast, “Why War Colleges?” Andrew A. Hill interviews the 50th Commandant of the U.S. Army College, U.S. Army Major General Bill Rapp to discuss the history, roles, and responsibilities of war colleges to develop future strategic leaders, both military and civilian, and to develop ideas that address current and future needs of the defense enterprise. They explore why the Army’s performance during the Spanish-American War necessitated the Army War College’s founding, and how it has evolved in the century since.
Don Snider reflects on his experiences in the drafting of the 1988 National Security Strategy (NSS) and what purpose that document serves. With Matt Scalia interviewing, Don describes the political context within which the NSS was written and the five audiences that the NSS must serve. He also discusses the challenges facing new Administrations in building political consensus and forging strategies that reflect the preferred agenda of the President.
In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the “One Belt, One Road” strategy as a national effort ostensibly to improve the economic integration and regional security of the Eurasian landmass. Also known as the “Belt and Road Initiative,” the strategy emphasizes development projects within underdeveloped east European and Asian nations. However, critics question both the motivations of the Chinese and the potentially low returns on investment. So why are the Chinese pursuing this? Join the podcast as Rakesh Kapoor and Paul Kan explore this question.
The defense acquisition system has been the subject of much controversy and criticism. From the “Sisyphus Paradox” to more recent studies on defense acquisition reform, critics have complained about the process of acquisition being too slow and cumbersome. But far less attention has been given to the strategy of acquisition. How should defense leaders make investment choices that address shorter-term needs while preserving long-term opportunities? Mark Kappelmann and Andrew Hill provide analysis and offer ideas and recommendations in this War Room Podcast.
Watch Colonel Mark Kappelmann in a panel discussion on military innovation at the Center for New American Security.
In this War Room Podcast, Jamaican Defense Force Colonel Jaimie Ogilvie discusses with U.S. Army War College faculty member Dr. Paul Kan the challenges of foreign fighters operating within the Caribbean, the “third border” of the U.S. as named by former President G. W. Bush. By foreign fighters, Colonel Ogilvie refers to the David Malet’s definition from his book Foreign Fighters: Transnational Identity in Civic Conflicts, “a non-citizen of a state experiencing civil conflict or arrives from another state to join a civil insurgency.” This definition differs from more common usage which treats foreign fighters as a type of terrorist.
They explore the broad range of reasons why individuals become foreign fighters; the impact of foreign fighters on the economically fragile states in the Caribbean, particularly on tourism; and the potential expansion of violent extremist organizations into the region. They also discuss why the U.S. should be concerned about the presence and activities of foreign fighters so close to its homeland, and that the U.S. should assist its Caribbean partners as many lack the resources to deal with the problem themselves.
Colonel Ogilvie is Jamaican’s first officer to attend the U.S. Army War College, and the podcast is based on his strategy research project in satisfaction of resident program requirements. Each year, the U.S. Army War College resident class includes over 75 international officers from 70 different partner nations all over the globe.